Tool Used to Help Engage Patients in Their Own Care
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2011
Contact: Rob Brogna
WORCESTER - One of the biggest challenges with managing diabetes is
motivating patients to take an appropriately active role in their health. To
help meet this challenge, UMass Memorial Medical Center has launched a pilot
program to test an innovative diabetes management "scorecard."
The scorecard contains the patient's diabetes-related health information
obtained through UMass Memorial's
electronic medical record system. It is presented in an easy-to-comprehend
graphical format and is printed prior to each patient's visit so it can be
handed to them during the check in process. Together, the doctor and the patient
can then review its contents and discuss goals they hope to achieve regarding
health measures specific to that patient's diabetes.
"The scorecard is a valuable tool for both physicians and patients with
either type 1 or type 2 diabetes," said David
Harlan, MD, codirector of the UMass
Memorial Health Care Diabetes Center of Excellence. "There are visuals
showing the patient's A1c (average blood sugar levels) scores as well as
information on cholesterol levels, weight, blood pressure, immunizations and
consultations for eye and foot care."
"Primary care physicians now have a visual way of discussing this very
important information with their patients," said Ronald
Adler, MD, a family medicine physician and director of primary care practice
improvement at UMass Memorial's Center for the Advancement of Primary Care. "We
can track progress and follow and anticipate trends and fluctuations in key
indicators of diabetes health."
In October 2010, the UMass Memorial Health Care Diabetes Center of Excellence
released data showing that individuals in
Worcester County who have diabetes seek providers to fill a critical unmet void
in education, access to new treatments, technologies and/or clinical
trials. "The scorecard is just the first of many patient-centered
enhancements we'll be bringing to our patients with diabetes in the coming
months to address those needs," said Dr. Harlan.
Mary Wilson of Ayer, MA, was one of the first patients to use the scorecard
during her office visits. "I was receiving my care for type 1 diabetes at one of
the large Boston hospitals, but never felt connected to what the doctors were
telling me during appointments," she said. "The UMass Memorial scorecard has
really opened my eyes and inspired me to better manage my diabetes. I've gained
better control of my blood sugar and am exercising more regularly; giving me
more energy for my family and my job as a kindergarten teacher."
The scorecard is currently being piloted at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Once the pilot is complete, there are plans to roll out the scorecard to member
hospitals and practices throughout the UMass Memorial Health Care system,
including the UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center.
UMass Memorial patients with diabetes who are interested in learning more
about the scorecard should contact their primary care physician for details. To
find a UMass Memorial primary care physician, call 800-431-5151 or visit www.umassmemorial.org/primarycare.
UMass Memorial Medical Center
UMass Memorial Medical Center is the
advanced tertiary care referral center for Central New England. The Medical
Center offers a full complement of sophisticated technology and support services
necessary to provide the region with specialists renowned for their work in
areas such as cardiology, cancer, diabetes and orthopedics. Visit http://www.umassmemorial.org for
Diabetes Center of Excellence
The UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of
Excellence brings together the region's finest providers from a number of
specialties and sites, advanced technology, and the latest research
breakthroughs to deliver comprehensive quality care to our adult and pediatric
patients with diabetes, whether type 1, type 2, or gestational.
Combining the expertise of our primary care physicians, our member and
affiliated community hospitals, and our teaching and research partner, the
University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Diabetes Center of Excellence
takes an approach to care that emphasizes balance for our patients living with
diabetes, offering seamless access to specialists focused on heart and vascular,
eye, foot and weight loss care, as well as education and nutrition counseling,
so our patients can achieve their health goals.